The act of stretching benefits the body by increasing blood flow to the muscles and improving flexibility and range of motion, explains Mayo Clinic. Stretching classes can teach proper technique and provide motivation to give this activity the time and effort that it deserves.
Effective stretching can improve athletic performance and decrease the risk of injury, but don't treat it as a warm-up, warns Mayo Clinic. Take the time to focus on each muscle group while trying to stretch each side equally. Always concentrate on taking deep breaths and making smooth, slow motions. Remember to hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds, but don't bounce.